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David Sifry to leave Technorati Layoffs Expected!

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Technorati has announced that they are going to layoff eight people and David Sifry is stepping down as the CEO. When I first read the headline at GigaOm I thought it was terrible news. Technorati is one of the true pioneers of New Media and David Sifry has been the man in charge since the beginning.

After reading David Sifry in his own words here maybe i’s not so bad:

If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my time as CEO here at Technorati is that making tough choices is a daily reality. But some choices are tougher than others, particularly when they involve one’s own self.

You see, I’ve made the tough decision to turn the reigns of the company over to other managers at the company. For those of you who follow Technorati regularly, you know that we’ve been conducting a CEO search since Spring and that it was just a matter of time before I made a transition. But searches such as these take time, especially in a market as frothy as this one, and I decided that rather than waiting for the process to play out, I would go ahead and transition to the board exclusively, taking on the role of Chairman of the Board.

As of today, Teresa Malo, CFO, Dorion Carroll our Vice President of Engineering and Derek Gordon, our Vice President of Marketing, will operate as a committee of the Office of the President

I have never met or spoke to David Sifry (I did hear him speak at Web 2.0) but I know he is certainly one of the people responsible for the explosion of New Media. Technorati was and is a commercial venture but there was more than just money motivating David Sifry. He is a new media guy.

One of the people mentioned in his post; Derek Gordon who I have had the pleasure of speaking with is also a true blue new media guy. If he is any indication of the rest of their team then Technorati is in good hands. Today is an important milestone for our little industry that started sprinting before it ever crawled.

Here is a little more from David’s post today:

I’ve been doing startups for almost all of my adult life. And I LOVE startups. I love the teams. I love the sense of mission, and the fast innovation. I love building something from an idea – a whiff of air over vocal cords – into a real, concrete business with real customers and a deep and real sense of corporate mission.

If you have ever done a Technorati search to find the hottest topic of the day, claimed your blog, or just went to check your rating then read the whole thing.

For more on the story visit Techmeme.

**update**

In related news Techcrunch is reporting John Furrier is out at Pod Tech.

More from John Furrier here.

Jason Calacanis thinks this could mark a Web 2.0 trend.
Stephen Baker at Business Week explains why Google is beating Technorati at it’s own game:

Just for a test, I just searched for Technorati on Google blog search. Om’s post, from 16 minutes ago, is the second I see, following this one from Barron’s. Long story short: fast, relevant results.

Then I tried on Technorati. The first post is something called The Baking Circle, with a recipe for a coconut cake. I clicked through pages of porn posts looking for Om’s post. Couldn’t find it. Later, just as I was adding links, I found this post from Epicenter.

More to come.

Rick is the CEO & Co-Founder of BlogWorld & New Media Expo. He lives in Canyon Lake with his wife and two dogs Abby and Thor.


Feedback

4
  • Dave Taylor

    Indeed, Dave’s done a great job building Technorati, but they also have the same problem that so many Web 2.0 startups have: where’s the revenue stream? Anyway, it’s a common experience in the business world to hit a point in the growth of the firm where the founder just isn’t the best person to take it forward. Dave, whatever you do, I’ll be paying attention and wishing you the best!

  • Marc Danziger

    As a long-time blogger, I’ve used Technorati since it started, and gone from limerance to frustration to flat out anger for some time.

    All I ask from a service is that the core tools work, and someone pay attention to make sure they do.

    From my blog post on Technorati last week, one of the issues:

    “I use a Treo 650. Technorati Mobile – http://mobile.technorati.com – brings up a search box, a list of top searches this hour, and a “what’s happening on the web right now in:” and a list of stories that are highly linked.

    If I fill in the search block, and click on “Search”:, you’d expect to get a set of Technorati search results. Go try it and see what happens. Nothing. Nothing has happened for weeks, if not months. Has anyone at Technorati even bothered to look?”

    I’m a fan of these kinds of tools, and a fan of startups (having been – and lost and gained – through several myself). But geez…I hope the new folks narrow their focus and just make the darn thing work.

    Marc

  • Lumpy

    It surprised me to hear that technorati was a for-profit business with actual employees. I had just assumed it was some sort of hobby or part time venture.

  • Dave Taylor

    Lumpy, what a wonderful, amusing comment. Yes, you’re right, so many of the “Web 2.0” businesses seem to be hobbies without a business plan. But that’s another story entirely. 🙂

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